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New bill targets wrongful convictions involving plea deals

The Challenging Wrongful Convictions Act, designed to support individuals wrongfully convicted who have accepted plea deals, is currently awaiting approval from Gov. Kathy Hochul. Sponsored by state Sen. Zellnor Myrie and Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry, the legislation focuses on facilitating exoneration for those who have pleaded guilty to crimes they did not commit.


Advocates say a high percentage of felony convictions in New York state come from plea deals, often due to the pressure of potential harsh sentences.

The bill has sparked debate, with supporters advocating for expanded protections for those who plead guilty, including the use of DNA evidence and other forms of proof for challenging convictions. However, critics express concerns over the bill’s necessity and potential to overwhelm the courts.